A team of 14 people from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the USA had gathered, each feeling called to be a part of this February 2016 Jerusalem prayer endeavor and most not really sure what to expect.
But as we made our way with our guide through the streets of the old city of Jerusalem, there was this spectacular rainbow whose colours were so intense that we simply marveled at God’s faithfulness.
“Look at that rainbow!” Those were the words we heard as we stood under a tree sheltering from the rain just before we arrived at the Western wall on our first trip into Jerusalem.
It felt as if the Lord was saying to us “I am here and I have something amazing for you!” As we look back at the trip we could certainly say that the Lord did have something amazing for us.
The trip was broken down into different phases of engagement beginning with the travel to Israel and gathering together physically as a team.
The second phase involved getting out and experiencing walking and driving on the land and listening and watching for what the Lord wanted to show us.
For this part of the trip we were located at the Yad Hashmona country hotel in the beautiful Judean hills.
This was a peaceful setting from which we could make the 30-minute drive into Jerusalem.
We had the opportunity to visit the old city, the western wall, the garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives.
We visited the place of the skull and the garden tomb where we were able to share communion together.
It also allowed us to connect with Asher Intrader and Revive Israel to worship and fellowship with each other and to be blessed by their prayers for us.
Doug McMurry took the time to begin teaching about how the church has had a poor track record when it comes to the relationship with Jews and Jewish followers of Yeshua.
Our eyes were opened to some of the barriers the church has placed before Jewish believers while at the same time the Lord was revealing, through the sites and places we visited, how Islam is seeking to take over significant sites for both Jew and Christian in order to replace both.
In the third phase of this trip we moved to the Christ Church guesthouse, which is just inside the old city by the Joppa gate. This became the center from which we could go out and pray and then return to debrief, pray, and worship together.
We arrived on the eve of Shabbat, and watched as the stores began to shut down until Saturday evening. On Saturday we joined in the pre-service prayer on the 14th floor of the Jerusalem Prayer Tower with impressive views over the old and new city of Jerusalem.
We prayed for the Ahavat Yeshua (the love of Jesus) congregation before joining the all-Hebrew service.
The focus of the service was on healing and at the end Asher led the congregation into a lab time of praying for one another for healing, just like we do at Dunamis.
During this phase of engagement we were led in times of worship and prayer by Doug and Carla McMurry and continued with Doug’s teaching, which stretched and challenged our worldview understandings of the relationships between Jew and Christian as well as the eschatological implications of these relationships.
But we also began to see the importance of working together as the one new humanity the Apostle Paul describes in Ephesians 2:14 to defeat the demonic stronghold of radical Islam and to pray for the fulfillment of the kingdom of God.
On Sunday we returned to the Jerusalem Prayer Tower, which is located in an office tower block, to meet and pray with the lead pastor for the King of Kings family of ministries, which includes the Jerusalem Prayer Tower.
We joined in with the English evening service there.
On Monday, we began two days of intentional intercession.
Some of the teams were called to engage in prayer at the Jerusalem Prayer Tower and others journeyed by train to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to pray through and experience the profound grief and devastation of the holocaust but also to see the witness of those like the ten Boom family in Holland who were faithful in their support of the Jewish people during World War II.
On Tuesday we again divided into two groups. Some remained at Christ Church to provide intercessory cover as the rest made their way to the temple mount.
The temple mount is under the control of the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, so no Christian or Jewish prayer is allowed on the site.
Groups touring the site are closely monitored.
But at the time when we were on the mount the Lord provided a couple of prominent Israeli dignitaries who toured the site and drew the focus of the Waqf from us to them, leaving our group the freedom to be able to walk around and pray quietly with each other.
It was amazing to be able to walk around on the ground which once held the temple, the place where the Lord chose to be with his people.
There was a sense of the enemy at work in that place but also a greater sense that the simple placement of Islamic buildings and people could not replace or negate the presence and power of the Lord in this place.
After debriefing, groups went out to prayer walk around the old city.
A group took the opportunity to walk upon the walls of the old city and to proclaim scripture from the walls as watchmen, as well as at a location which is thought to be a possible site for the location of the upper room, where the disciples gathered to pray.
During this time of intentional intercession, which included times of worship and debriefing together, it was noted that there were no reported terrorist attacks within Jerusalem.
The fourth phase of the trip was to intentionally retreat to Migdal near the Sea of Galilee to rest and continue to pray and worship together.
On our journey to Galilee we had the opportunity to have lunch with a couple of Messianic believers, friends of Doug and Carla, who shared about some of their struggles in making Aliyah (the move to living in Israel) and some of the work they have been doing with advocating for Palestinian Christians.
In Galilee we stayed at Beit Bracha (House of Blessing) and were able to share in the vision this place has of being an intentional place of prayer.
It was a wonderful time of refreshment and an opportunity to see places where Jesus probably walked and talked and to look out at hills which Jesus would have looked at.
One of the purposes of this prayer endeavor trip was to establish and strengthen the connections or ligaments between ministries in Israel and PRMI.
We were amazed at the number of doors which the Lord opened for us on the trip and the number of divine appointments which the Lord prepared for us.
In a lunchtime meeting with Ben Juster of the Tikkun network, the door opened to return to Israel next year and to begin to teach the Dunamis materials.
The door has also opened to do some basic teaching with some of the leaders and volunteers at Christ Church and at the House of Blessing.
There were also a number of connections with people whom we met along the trip.
The Lord has opened doors for ministry in Israel and more importantly he has established and strengthened the friendships between the ministry of PRMI and the Tikkun family of Messianic ministries.
Please continue to pray that the Lord will open the doors to further ministry in Israel and that he will strengthen the ligaments which have already been established.